This may just be a Big Data first. 10Gen, the MongoDB company, is introducing MongoDB Backup Service, a cloud-based solution geared toward its customers who use large data sets.

“It is engineered specifically for MongoDB,” says Kelly Stirman, 10gen’s director of product marketing. He adds that it provides a reliable and convenient way to backup and restore the NoSQL database his company supports.

Not only that, but it also includes features like Data Security, High Availability, Point-in-Time Restore, Sharded Cluster Support and more. Its pricing is attractive because you pay only for what you use, so there’s no need to stress about whether you’ll run out of room and have to overpay for extra or whether you’re wasting money because you’ve overestimated. Add to that that there’s no need to call anyone or write-up purchase orders when you want to buy; you simply charge it to your credit card.

Making the Hard Choices Easy

Since backing-up isn’t an option, companies typically have to make choices about how much data they are willing to lose, in case of disaster, and how much time they are willing to spend to get back into production.

“There are tradeoffs between speed and expense,” says Stirman. “Typically companies have to ask themselves how much data they are willing to lose.”

This no longer has to be as difficult a question to answer -- with MongoDB’s backup service there are no solutions to build and there’s little or no planning required.

Rather than making a copy of the database each time a backup is done, MongoDB Backup Service takes advantage of replication and takes a “snapshot” in different points in time. These snapshots can be scheduled at regular, user-defined intervals and they provide for a great level of granularity.

Although enterprises might try to build a similar capability in-house, 10Gen’s service will almost certainly be better and cheaper; partly because they built MongoDB and they understand how it works, and also because of economies of scale that are inherent on the cloud. And, not to be overlooked, getting free support from the people who built the database is worth something; in fact, a great deal when you need it most.

Another advantage that MongoDB Backup Service can provide, according to Stirman, is an ability to test on the cloud while leaving your production environment alone. It could save a lot of headaches and keep user response times at a minimum.

And there’s at least on not-so-obvious way to use the backup service -- to move between clouds. As cloud independence becomes a smarter and easier way to do business, this makes it more palatable an option.

Key features of MongoDB Backup Service

Key Features of MongoDB Backup Service include:

  • Data Security -- All data transfer is SSL encrypted. Two-Factor Authentication is required for all restores.
  • High Availability -- Backups are archived in multiple, fault-tolerant, geographically dispersed data centers.
  • Point-in-Time Recovery -- Users can precisely restore their systems to any point in time.
  • Sharded Cluster Support -- From single server to hundreds of servers, reliable backup and restore is provided to a consistent point in time across all shards.
  • Managed Solution -- Backup Service eliminates the need for custom backup monitoring, scripts and storage. Dedicated support team to monitor the system and alert user if problems arise.
  • Low Overhead -- Install a lightweight agent in minutes and begin backing up immediately. The overall impact is less than that of adding another secondary.
  • Unlimited Restores -- Use restores to seed new secondaries, build a Dev/QA environment, send data to others without impacting the production environment and more.